Sweet Taste Of Success For Irresistible Ashley
The weekend of 6th November saw Chesterfield squash supremo Ashley Davies return home from Belgium with his second successive European Junior U17 title. Having already posted victories in his previous three competitions, this fourth win on the bounce has given him his best ever start to a season.
To win the Belgian competition Ashley needed to see off the cream of Europe’s domestic players and did so with what is becoming his customary aplomb. Indeed, in his opening four matches he conceded a paltry 4 points per game on average, leaving the No.1 players from Spain and Israel trailing in his wake.
Said Ash of his opponents: “All players at this level are top quality so I was pleased to get through the early rounds without expending too much energy. I fully expected the semi-final to be a tough match but didn’t do myself any favours by losing concentration and allowing the third game to go to15-13”.
Ashley’s opponent in the final, Kuwait’s Yousef Saleh was “the quickest player I’ve ever seen. His racket seemed magnetic at times”.
And in what turned out to be another ding-dong battle, Ashley came out on top in a five game thriller, but by having to bag 11 points or more in every single game.
Having got off to a great start, taking the first game 12-10, Ashley was then pegged back, losing the next two games 11-13 and 12-14. Again Ash needed to dig deep and rescue the match by winning the last two games to return home with a victory – not a situation with which he is entirely unfamiliar!
Game four saw Ashley prevail 12-10 in another closely fought encounter, before finishing the job off 11-6 in the fifth.
Ashley paid respect to his fellow finalist saying: “I got a message from him the day after the tournament, congratulating me and looking forward to seeing me in January.”
Following the Belgian victory, Ashley now enters a period of intensive training at his home club, Brampton Manor, as he starts his build up to the British Junior Open, held in Sheffield in early January.